The Oct. 25 news article “Report: Health-care system is burning out doctors and nurses” highlighted a study from the National Academy of Medicine and described the epidemic of burnout that every physician I know is already intimately familiar with.

The study rightfully asserted that combating burnout in the long term will require fundamental changes in the health-care system, but we need to focus on attainable wins now. Physical solutions such as medical scribes can help to alleviate the documentation burden doctors face, while digital solutions such as natural language processing or artificial intelligence can streamline electronic health record workflows. But without more urgent efforts to decrease physicians’ administrative burden and burnout, the negative impact — for patients and the health system overall — will only get worse.

Ironically, the very factors that drive burnout prevent doctors from engaging in a manner that allows them to be part of the solution. True change will require a meaningful effort to break down the barriers and stigma that come with burnout. Physician feedback will be paramount to designing more effective regulations and technology that work with doctors, not against them.

Joseph DeVeau, Atlanta

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